By: Patti Tuck
2020 has at least one bright moment! A new fossil was added to the Fossil Hall at the Heard Museum.
We call it Ruby because of the red, iron oxide mudstone in which it was deposited. Ruby came from the Woodbine formation which dates to 95 million years ago. Its scientific name is: Trinitichelys maini.
This is a new aquatic turtle species, first described in December 2019. It was originally discovered at the Arlington Archosaur Site in Arlington, Texas. This site was founded by the late Dr. Derek Main, for whom the species is named. On display here is the most complete example to be discovered.
The fossil was discovered in April 2019 by Ty Leslie Goble, age 9.
The preparation from raw fossil to finished specimen was completed by volunteers in the Heard Paleontology Lab. Descendants of this turtle are with us today. They are commonly called sliders or mud turtles.
The unique display was created in the lab. By incorporating mirrors in the display, a complete view of the fossil is possible.
One of the challenges of preparing fossils for show is displaying it in the best way possible.
THIS SPECIMEN IS ON LOAN FROM AND IS THE PROPERTY OF THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS.